Introduction: in the Absence of the Gun
In 1967, researchers at the University of Wisconsin tested the idea that the mere presence of a weapon a gun "can elicit aggressive responses from people ready to act aggressively". In many ways, performance in a militarized culture considers the consequences of weapons in society both present and absent. Militarized cultures encompass both occupied territories and those subsisting there, and societies not currently under threat of war but that nevertheless put the concerns of civil society in the service of an increasingly powerful military culture. Performance in a Militarized Culture claims that performance is and has to be understood as key to this militarization. Scholars have similarly worked to distinguish "militarism" from "militarization". In an effort to embrace the many permutations of militarization, this anthology is divided into four sections: Sites of Conflict, Militarized History and Memory, Performing the Soldier, and the Militarization of the Everyday. Finally, this chapter also provides an overview of this book.